POTTSGROVE >> They’ve righted the ship and gotten back on track.
Two consecutive wins surely has Upper Perkiomen high on excitement, high on expectations …and high on the District 1 4A power rankings.
How good are the Indians?
Friday will definitely give some sort of indication as the Indians travel to Pottsgrove to take on Rick Pennypacker and the Falcons Friday night at 7 p.m. in a battle between two PAC Frontier unbeatens.
“Pottsgrove is extremely talented with a powerful line, an exceptional running back and very solid QB,” Upper Perkiomen head coach Tom Hontz said. “We are excited to take on this challenge though, and see if we can whittle away at the Pottsgrove mystique. They have the number one defense in the league so I’m anxious to see what our offense can achieve and how our skill guys match up against them.”
The Indians (2-0 PAC, 3-3 overall) come in winners of two straight after starting the season 1-3. Senior quarterback Zeke Hallman has continued to shine, throwing for 16 touchdowns to only three interceptions while completing 57 percent of his passes for 1,093 yards. Tyler Whary’s successive 125-plus rushing outings in the team’s wins over Phoenixville and Upper Merion has pushed him to third in the conference with 728 rushing yards and six scores.
Ryan Kendra is second in the conference with 519 yards receiving and will look to help the Indians eclipse the .500 mark for the first time since the team started 4-1 in the 2009 season.
“We are excited to be playing meaningful football in October and need to really play our best game of the year if we hope to continue our growth and development and achieve our ultimate goal of playing meaningful November football,” Hontz said.
The Indians go up against a Pottsgrove (2-0 PAC, 4-2 overall) team that is coming off a 48-8 rout of Pottstown last Saturday. The Falcons defense, which ranks No. 1 in points allowed and total yards allowed, was the catalyst to the team’s outburst in the opening minutes as Ephraim Hurt-Ramsey and Adam Girafalco’s scoop-and-scores made it 21-0 within the first four minutes.
Rahsul Faison leads the team with 771 rushing yards.
The Falcons haven’t lost to Upper Perkiomen since the 2004 season, and have allowed seven points or less in the last five contests (Pottsgrove outscoring UP 275-33 since 2010).
“Every game is a big game for us,” Pennypacker said. “We prepare the same for each team. However, this one has special meaning to it as both are undefeated in our division. Upper Perk is very good and has some very talented players. We have to play a perfect game in order to hang with them.”
PJP Looking to Make History
Pope John Paul II (2-0 PAC, 3-3 overall) will seek its first four-game winning steak as Upper Merion travels to Royersford Saturday afternoon at 1 p.m. PJP has outscored opponents 73-20 in its past three wins while running back Brandon Knox has eclipsed 75 yards rushing the past two games, a 168-yard effort in last week’s win over Phoenixville a career high.
Upper Merion (0-2 PAC, 1-5 overall) comes in having lost four straight and has only scored eight points in the past three losses (12-0 to OJR in Week 4 followed by 35-0 loss to Pottsgrove and 26-8 loss to Upper Perkiomen).
Prediction >> Pope John Paul II makes school history, win 20-14.
Bears Look to Rebound
Boyertown (1-1 PAC, 2-4 overall) comes in losers of four of their last five. Penalties have shot the Bears in the foot, four false start penalties in last week’s 30-0 loss to Perkiomen Valley killing drives.
Owen J. Roberts (1-1 PAC, 3-3 overall) hosts the Bears Friday (7 p.m.) after dismantling Norristown Saturday. Of Dawson Stuart’s seven completions, four went for touchdowns. The defense also recorded seven sacks, 4.5 coming from Nick Duliakas who now has 10 for the season.
This will be 55th meeting between the two schools. Owen J. Roberts leads the overall series 28-24-2, but Boyertown has won the last five.
Prediction >> Wildcats win a close one, top Bears 28-27.
Pottstown, Phoenixville Looking to Buck the Trend
Disappointing losses by both Pottstown (0-2 PAC, 1-5 overall) and Phoenixville (0-2 PAC, 2-4 overall) have both teams on the outside looking in when it comes to playoff seeding.
One team will see a losing streak snapped Friday night at Phoenixville (7 p.m.)
Running back Matt Garcia continues to shine for Phoenixville as he eclipsed 1,000 yards in last week’s loss to PJP. The two teams have split decisions the last four years with the Trojans winning 20-0 last year and 32-9 a year prior. Twice has Pottstown’s lone win in the conference come against the Phantoms, the aforementioned win in 2014 and a 15-7 victory in 2009.
Prediction >> Phoenixville rebounds from second straight loss, tops Pottstown 20-12.
Winless No More
Saturday’s contest between Norristown (0-2 PAC, 0-6 overall) and Methacton (0-2 PAC, 0-6 overall) will guarantee a team its first win. It’s the second time in two seasons that a Methacton game coming against a winless team comes the Saturday following Perkiomen Valley and Spring-Ford’s tilt.
The Warriors topped PJP in the penultimate game last season, 21-14, and will look to do the same against an Eagles team that has given up only six points less (236) than the Warriors. Both teams are in the bottom of the league in scoring (75 total points).
Prediction >> Methacton gets its first win, tops Norristown 20-16.
Climbing Up the Ladder
Daniel Boone (1-1 Berks, 2-3 overall) was brought back to earth after a 42-0 loss to Governor Mifflin last week. Now, with Fleetwood (0-2 Berks, 1-4 overall) visiting Friday night (7 p.m.) the Blazers look to win two straight for the second time this season.
Fleetwood’s 1-4 record is deceiving, however, as the Tigers have lost four games by four points or less, a 29-28 loss to Reading last week the ultimate stinger.
This is Daniel Boone’s first game against Fleetwood since winning 55-0 in 2005.
Prediction >> Daniel Boone wins a close one, 18-16.
Eastern Shore Bucks Continues to Grow
Eastern Shore Bucks, or FCA Bucks, enters its fourth season as part of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes for homeschooled athletes or students who attend schools without football. FCA is 4-8 the past two seasons and has been shut out in four losses, including a 40-0 loss to the Perk School last season. The Bucks visit Perkiomen Friday at 4 p.m with a little revenge on their mind.
Prediction >> Perk wins easy, 35-6.
Over the Hill
Two straight losses have The Hill School (2-2) back at .500 with a trip to Peddie looming Saturday at 3 p.m. The Rams will get their eyes on Peddie’s Javar Garrett, a 3-star linebacker who earned a Rutgers offer at the spring game and Jahan Dotson, a 4-star junior receiver rated 77th nationally. Dotson hauled in nine passes for 133 yards in Peddie’s 46-7 win over Wyoming Seminary last week.
Prediction >> Peddie improves to 3-1, wins 28-13.